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TradeWinds

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Homasote Launches DesignWall 440 at AIA Annual Expo
Attendees Can Visit Homasote at Booth #S-2257

One of the largest tradeshows for the building industry in the nation, the AIA 2009 National Convention and Design Exposition gives attendees the opportunity to experience new technology, materials and methods from more than 800 exhibitors. Currently celebrating its 100th anniversary, Homasote will showcase a variety of products at the event, including its 440 SoundBarrier®, Pak-Line® and Homex® 300 lines. The company will also launch its new product, DesignWall 440®—a cost-effective prefinished interior paneling comprised of Guilford of Maine FR 701® fabric laminated to 440 SoundBarrier fiberboard.

DesignWallThis new addition to Homasote’s interior tackable wall panel collection will ultimately feature bold new colors as well as new fabric choices and textures. The current DesignWall line features a premium, Class A fire rating with Homasote’s N.C.F.R. wall board as its substrate. The new DesignWall 440 line is designed for applications that call for less stringent fire ratings of the finished panels.

“Homasote has been an enduring leader in this industry for 100 years because of the company’s ability to adapt to changing market conditions,” said Craig Stiffler, president and COO of Homasote. “We’re excited to showcase how versatile our products are to this core group of potential business partners.”

Homasote’s 440 SoundBarrier recently received low emitting certification from the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS), allowing the product to be used for environmentally-conscious classroom construction where indoor air quality is a concern. The company’s products have also earned the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, which recognizes Homasote’s commitment to preventing deforestation. Homasote is also a national member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). These certifications further illustrate the company’s dedication to green building practices and their commitment to validating Homasote products’ performance. For more information, visit www.Homasote.com.

Homasote®, a leading manufacturer of quality building and industrial packaging products made from 98 percent recycled materials, will exhibit at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2009 National Convention and Design Exposition held April 30 – May 2 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California.

About Homasote
Homasote® is a leading manufacturer of green building products made from recycled materials in the United States whose brand embodies an array of uses and products specific to sound control in floors and walls, tackable board, expansion joints, fire protection for roofs and industrial packaging. Homasote products provide green benefits as they are made from post-consumer recycled paper, biocide to ensure a healthy environment by inhibiting mold and wax emulsifiers for water resistance. For 100 years, Homasote has provided quality building products made from recycled materials to the building industry. For more information, please visit www.Homasote.com.

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FGS PermaShine Concrete Polishing System Listed On CSI's GreenFormat™

L&M Construction Chemicals, a manufacturer and distributor of concrete construction chemicals and products for use in commercial, industrial or institutional building projects, announced today that its FGS PermaShine Concrete Polishing System (www.fgs-permashine.com) is now listed on the Construction Specifications Institute's (CSI) GreenFormat.

GreenFormat is a new, Web-based CSI format that allows building product manufacturers to accurately self-report the sustainable properties of their products through a comprehensive, online questionnaire. Their entries are then displayed in a standard manner through the GreenFormat Web site.

Architects, designers, engineers and other building professionals who make product-selection decisions can search the database at www.greenformat.com for free. It presents basic information on the green attributes of building products using an unbiased and consistent approach, helping save time for design, construction and operations professionals.

"We have posted many of the sustainable attributes of the FGS PermaShine system on our Web site," explained L&MCC President Greg Schwietz. "As part of our dedicaton to manufacturing products responsibly, we will continually post sustainability test results as they come in."

The product listings in GreenFormat are organized by MasterFormat™ divisions in a specifications-friendly layout. The format's categories focus on topics that are important to design and product-selection decisions, providing basic information that helps design and building professionals find the right "green" products for their projects.

GreenFormat's questionnaire for manufacturers references specific industry standards wherever possible, and allows individual manufacturers to report additional information at the end of each entry. Sustainability claims are substantiated by relating questions to standards and certifications, which benefits both manufacturers and designers. For manufacturers, the direct link between questions and applicable standards and certifications delivers a clearer understanding of the intent of the questions. For designers, it means less concern about "green-washing" or misleading information.

To learn more about GreenFormat, or to enter a product, visit www.greenformat.com.

About L&M Construction Chemicals - Improving concrete performance for nearly 50 years L&M is a manufacturer of innovative concrete construction chemicals and products that improve the long-term durability and appearance of concrete. Staying at the forefront of concrete technology and market trends, L&M has maintained a solid track record of improving product formulations that protect the environment for nearly 50 years. L&M products are available worldwide. For more information on L&M Construction Chemicals, Inc., visit their web site at www.lmcc.com.

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AEC Firms Must Work Fast to Win Stimulus-Funded Projects

According to the Guide to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a new report from ZweigWhite, working fast and staying close to home are two key points that will help firms win projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), more commonly known as the much-anticipated federal economic stimulus bill.

Capitalizing on existing relationships with government agencies is perhaps the best way to win projects in this area, the report states. Restrictions put forth in the bill require that much of the money be committed by September 30, 2009. As a result, firms that have established relationships with granting agencies and those with the ability to build relationships quickly will stand the best chance of securing projects funded by the bill. And because much of the money from the stimulus bill will be passing through state and local channels, firms are most likely to win stimulus-funded work close to where they are located.

“The bill represents huge opportunities for firms in the AEC space, given that so much capital is being dedicated to improving transportation infrastructure. Similarly, a lot of funding is being poured into the energy and environmental sectors and firms serving clients in these sectors stand a good chance of seeing some work come from the bill,” says Elaine K. Howley, associate in the research division at ZweigWhite. “Many firms can find work resulting from the money the bill will inject into the economy, but they need to act quickly and understand where the money will be going and what agencies will be administering funds.”

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Architecture Billings Index Continues to Point to Difficult Conditions
No region or building sector immune from prolonged economic downturn

Following another historic low score in January, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) was up two points in February. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the February ABI rating was 35.3, up from the 33.3 mark in January, but still pointing to a general lack of demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry score was 49.5.

“Despite a higher score than last month, we are likely to see light demand for new construction projects through much of the year,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “There is hope that the stimulus bill will result in more project activity, but that is also dependent on banks easing lending standards in the months ahead. Still, the improvement in the inquiries index does provide hope that some stalled projects will resurface in the near future.”

Key February ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: West (36.4), South (35.5), Midwest (35.0), Northeast (32.3)
  • Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (40.1), institutional (36.8), multi-family residential (33.3), commercial / industrial (32.0)
  • Project inquiries index: 49.5

About the AIA Architecture Billings Index
The Architecture Billings Index is derived from a monthly “Work-on-the-Boards” survey and produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group. Based on a comparison of data compiled since the survey’s inception in 1995 with figures from the Department of Commerce on Construction Put in Place, the findings amount to a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction activity. The diffusion indexes contained in the full report are derived from a monthly survey sent to a panel of AIA member-owned firms. Participants are asked whether their billings increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the month that just ended. According to the proportion of respondents choosing each option, a score is generated, which represents an index value for each month.

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit www.aia.org/walkthewalk.
http://www.aia.org/press/releases/AIAB078896

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New Horton ICU Door System Adds Self-Closing Function Without Electrical Installation

Profiler® ICU Door SystemEasily substituted for standard operating ICU door packages, the newest Profiler® ICU door system from Horton Automatics adds the convenience of a self-closing function without requiring electrical installation in healthcare facilities.

Horton's new self-closing, single slide door system utilizes a built-in spring that is fully concealed in a slim 4 x 6 header. In use, the sliding panel opens manually like a regular ICU door, and then closes touch-free. The door system has a hold open feature with full breakout capability for wider openings, ideal for moving patient beds and equipment.

The self-closing ICU door system is available in track or trackless designs for openings ranging from 7 to 9 feet. The system can be specified with a magnetic hold-open device that can be integrated into a facility's fire alarm system. A positive latch and perimeter seal are also available when smoke-rated systems are specified.

For further information about the Profiler® Self-Closing ICU Door System as well as other ICU/CCU door solutions, contact your local Horton Automatics authorized distributor or contact Horton directly at 1.800.531.3111. Visit Horton Automatics online at www.hortondoors.com.

Horton Automatics is a leading manufacturer of automatic entrance systems, including sliding, swing and revolving doors as well as platform screen doors, industrial doors and service windows. Horton is headquartered in Corpus Christi, Texas and operates facilities in Mexico and the UK. Horton Automatics is a division of Overhead Door Corporation, a Sanwa Shutter Company.

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New Study Reveals Shake-up in the Most Promising Markets for 2009

ZweigWhite's just-released 2009 AEC Industry Outlook: Strategy and Insight for Design & Construction Firms reveals a shake-up in the markets that firm leaders in the architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting industries expect to be most promising. While health care still holds the top spot, despite the impact that financial markets have had on project funding, three of last year's top five ranked markets (higher education, K-12 schools, and the office market) did not even make the list in 2009. Instead, industry leaders have tapped the municipal government, transportation, energy/power and green building markets to round out the top five most promising markets in 2009.

"This really shows how dynamic the current AEC marketplace has become," says ZweigWhite president and industry consultant, Ian Rusk. "There are so many forces at work here, from the impact of shrinking endowment values on the higher education market, which has been in the top five for as long as I can recall, to the recession's impact on the office market. But the biggest takeaway here is that industry leaders seem to be looking to markets that have the most to gain from government investment."

Based on a survey of select firm leaders, published in the 2009 AEC Industry Outlook, the top five markets to watch in 2009 are:

1. Health care
2. Government/Municipal
3. Transportation
4. Energy/Power
5. Green Building


The 2009 AEC Industry Outlook: Strategy and Insight for Design & Construction Firms examines all of the major markets served by design and construction firms. The report also identifies the key trends that will affect the AEC business in 2009. This electronic report is available from the publisher for $295. Copies can be ordered online at www.zweigwhite.com/go/outlook2009. The executive summary is also available for download from the web site at no charge.

About ZweigWhite: ZweigWhite is the nation's leading source of management consulting, information, and education for the design and construction industry. ZweigWhite brings together experts in strategic business planning, organization, operations, business valuation, ownership transition, human resources, recruitment, finance and administration, information technology, mergers and acquisitions, market research, marketing, project management and project delivery methods. The firm is headquartered in Chicago, IL, with additional offices in Natick, MA, and Washington, DC.

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The Top 10 Ways to Improve Safety and Productivity on Your Jobsite in 2009!
By DOKA

1)
Select the Right Formwork: Formwork, the temporary or permanent molds used to hold wet concrete until it sets, is a crucial element in concrete construction. The selection of formwork greatly affects the schedule, labor requirements, quality and total cost of a project. Because conditions vary for each individual project, there is no simple formula for choosing the right formwork supplier or system. Formwork typically accounts for 40-to-60-percent of the total cost of a building’s structural concrete frame. For concrete walls, the cost can be in the 50-to-60-percent range. These percentages include the cost of material and labor, with the largest cost for labor. It is important to analyze labor costs thoroughly, as this is the bigger number and reducing this number will have a much greater impact on bottom-line costs.

To help determine the most efficient solution for a project, a contractor will evaluate several forming systems. Simply stated, a contractor has two choices: an inexpensive forming material that is labor-intensive or a forming system that while costing more, provides high productivity, built-in safety features and is more labor efficient. Other factors the contractor will evaluate when choosing a formwork system include:

  • Is the material you require readily available? Does the supplier manufacture the material or do they purchase it from another company
  • Can the formwork supplier pre-assemble some or all of the formwork prior to delivery? This can reduce rental cost, save labor requirements and minimize assembly area requirements.
  • Does the supplier provide on-site field service to train and reduce the learning curve of the formwork crew?
  • How safe is the system to install, use and dismantle? Can the forms easily be climbed and are tie-off points built into the system where required?
  • What experience does the firm have with your type of project?
  • Does the supplier offer engineering services? Will the supplier provide formwork assembly drawings specifically for the project or only provide general drawings of the system?

2) Get Involved Early: Contact formwork suppliers at the very early design stage of the project. This can allow for as much information as possible to be incorporated into the bid documents, which will provide a more accurate cost to the owner. Formwork suppliers can advise on sizing structural concrete members to meet standard form dimensions. And, because major form suppliers typically are involved in a large number of projects in a wide variety of construction markets, they can draw upon their resources to suggest formwork means and methods. Also of importance is to ask concrete forming contractors to be involved early in the design stage of the structure. They are ultimately the people who will be physically building the structure and can provide a tremendous amount of knowledge as to the most economical means and methods.

3) Know When to Purchase and When to Rent: Another consideration is whether to purchase or rent a system. This decision should be based on the duration of the project and the overall strategy of the company. Typically, if a form system has to be rented for more than 8 to 10-months, purchasing the system might be more economical. However, along with the purchase of a system, there are additional costs such as maintenance and storage. Some formwork companies, however, offer services for customers who purchase their equipment. The quality of the product also must be considered in the decision-making process. Steel-framed wall formwork with standard plywood facing will require more maintenance and repair throughout the life of the form than hot-dipped galvanized steel frames with specially manufactured plywood designed for longer life.

4) Ensure proper access: Proper access is a really important component of formwork use at a worksite as it affects the schedule, budget and safety. Workers must be able to get to the workplace using safe horizontal and vertical access routes. Ladder systems, such as Doka’s Ladder System XS, designed as integral parts of the overall formwork system allow safe access to various points on the formwork.

5) Make Fall Protection the Top Priority: At construction sites, falls are one of the top killers in the industry every year and therefore, fall protection is a major safety concern. For a construction worker, “feeling” safe is as important as actually being safe. It is important for productivity and peace-of-mind that a worker has a feeling of security as they move about the formwork structure. A worker will perform his/her duties much more productively if they are comfortable with the structure under their feet. If you are working on top of something that feels rickety, you don’t feel as confident and that can result in a loss of productivity. You want your formwork structure to be outfitted with equipment that meets OSHA requirements for fall protection. Further, a worker needs a safe, easy way to climb from one area to the next, so it is important to have proper ladders installed for easy, safe access from Point A to Point B on the formwork. On platforms where people will be working, install secure guardrails to protect workers from falls. One recent innovation that is improving fall protection procedures on high-rise structures is protection screens. They fully enclose a building’s slab edge, providing a completely contained safe and more productive working environment. These systems anchor to a slab edge around the perimeter of the building. Perimeter protections screens, used at the upper floors of high-rise buildings as they are erected, provide protection from wind, weather and the fear of falling. Doka’s Xclimb 60 Protection Screen provides protection for the working floor and up to three floors below. Other safety precaution ideas include good guardrails and toe boards, and good, solid anchorages where workers can tie-off using their own personal fall arrest systems.

6) Ensure Accurate Handling and Proper Assembly: One of the common mistakes that contractors make at a worksite is not following the engineering drawings for assembling and setting-up the formwork. And, not following set-up instructions letter-by-letter can lead to accidents. Trying to cut corners to save set-up time could result in unsafe working conditions and unnecessary downtime. When setting-up and dismantling a formwork structure, follow instructions carefully to ensure safety. Ties, installed properly, will hold the formwork firmly in place as the concrete is poured. The formwork must be properly supported before removal of the ties and the formwork is removed from the set concrete. As an example, Doka’s series of work platforms feature the “Xsafe” system that provides complete, all-around safety before a worker steps onto the platform. The platforms offer extra-safety precautions at the work site through integrated, telescoping ladders, auto-closing manhole lids, and side- and end-guards that integrated into the platform. Another job site innovation that reduces jobsite crane time and formwork labor requirements is formwork lifting elevators that mount to the exterior of a building, allowing all formwork to be cycled from floor to floor without the need for a crane. These table lifting systems are used in conjunction with the smaller table method and also allow for other construction material including handset shoring, vertical formwork and reshores from below to cycle from floor to floor with the need for a crane.

7) Don’t Overlook Proper Formwork Ties: With formwork, it is necessary to have the proper ties in place to secure the formwork. Having the proper ties in place and not exceeding the maximum pour pressure as per the design not only guarantees safety, but also will ensure the work is correctly done. For example, if you pour the concrete in too fast and the ties are not strong enough, it creates excess pressure on the forms. The ties can fail and the formwork can move, creating an unsafe condition and work that must be redone.

8) Select the Optimal Assembly Method for your Project: Having the formwork pre-assembled at the supplier’s shop not only can save you time in the field, but it also provides many safety advantages. As opposed to the often crowded, cluttered construction site, a shop will have clean, smooth, level areas for building the formwork. This allows the formwork to be more accurately assembled, more solidly built, and be aligned better– important aspects for safe construction and use. Pre-assembly at the shop also gives the supplier access to all the safety devices necessary for the formwork structure (i.e., guardrails, trap doors, etc.) and ensures that they will be properly installed. A contractor should expect the formwork supplier to have all necessary safety equipment included in the system design and in the bid.

9) Safety First: Every worker at construction site knows about safe practices. Union craftspeople learn safe practices during their apprenticeship, and several trade organizations promote the safe and proper use of forming and shoring equipment. However, while safety is never a simple matter, if safety equipment features are easy to use then workers will use them. For example, the only tool needed by a worker in the field for most of Doka’s formwork equipment is a hammer for safe assembly. The purpose of safe practices is so that all workers have a common level of knowledge and that they will all do things the same safe way. If everyone at a construction site follows the same set of safety rules, then a worker on one side of a formwork structure can be confident that a worker on the other side is doing the same thing. For a contractor, enforcing safety at a worksite is the most crucial aspect of getting a job done. With everyone following safe practices, not only will there be fewer accidents (or none at all) but also benefits in increased productivity and efficiency.

10) Training: Formwork technology is constantly changing and you should take advantage of the training now being offered on the proper and safe utilization of forming equipment by the equipment suppliers. Doka offers training sessions for all of their products which is a mixture of classroom and hands on learning. An excellent way to boost your field forces productivity is to have them attend these training sessions.

About DOKA
With 50 years experience in formwork engineering, Doka serves customers in more than 65 countries and has participated in construction of some of the world’s best known structures including the world’s tallest skyscraper (Burj Dubai), the Hoover Dam Bypass bridge, along with many other projects of all sizes. From wall and slab formwork systems to automatic climbing technology and superior safety solutions, Doka can deliver any type of formwork needed for residential, industrial, commercial, transportation, infrastructure as well as stadium and sports arena projects. For more information about how Doka's safe, fast and efficient solutions can aid in your next project, please visit www.dokausa.com, or call 877-DOKA-USA.

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Sto’s web-based selection tool incorporates Revit, Autodesk’s platform for building information modeling (BIM)

Sto Corp., the innovative world leader in cladding, coating, and restoration systems, has announced the development and release of an electronic Architectural Toolbox™, an EIFS selector tool hat allows users to build a variety of EIFS systems using easy pull down menus and a variety of options.

The Architectural Toolbox™ also allows users to instantly download Revit models, specifications for their system choices, and download sales sheets, technical bulletins, and sales materials. The Architectural Toolbox™ can be found at http://www.stocorp.com.

“Sto Corp. is the only manufacturer in the EIFS industry that allows its users to download Revit models for specific system configurations,” said John Edgar, Technical Manager - Building Science. “With the emergence of building information modeling (BIM), Sto recognizes the importance of providing this information in an easily downloadable and straight forward manner.”

As the user builds the specific system, the toolbox will continually provide product series information, as well as additional information such as code compliances and insulation strategies. This is all key information for designing the perfect code-compliant EIFS system.

The Architectural Toolbox™ is geared to architects, designers, and specification professionals looking for an efficient way to review EIFS choices in a variety of configurations all in one stop. Users can also use the one-click system to request a quote.

About Sto Corp.
Sto Corp., based in Atlanta, Georgia, is an innovative world leader and producer of a broad range of versatile cladding and coating systems for building construction, maintenance and restoration. Sto Corp. is ISO 9001 certified and operates production plants strategically located to serve more than 200 distributor shipping locations across North America. At research and development laboratories in the U.S. and Europe, Sto continues to revolutionize the industry with the highest quality products and application technology.

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EXCEPTIONAL® Metals Announces New Reference Manual

EXCEPTIONAL® Metals Reference ManualEXCEPTIONAL Metals, a division of Duro-Last® Roofing, Inc., announced the availability of a new reference manual at its recent National Sales Seminar in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The new piece showcases the products, edge details, and accessories available from EXCEPTIONAL Metals along with CAD drawings of these products, technical data, and a metal color chart. The new product reference manual is available online via the Duro-Last and EXCEPTIONAL Metals web sites.

· www.duro-last.com/marketing
· www.exceptionalmetals.com

This interactive web version gives users the look and feel of a physical book, with page turning capabilities, plus internally linked information that can be clipped, e-mailed, saved, printed and turned into PDFs that can be easily inserted into architectural documents, proposals, etc. An interactive PDF on CD will be provided to Duro-Last customers in late February.

“Our goal was to create a reference guide that would answer common product questions and help explain our metal products in great detail,” said Fred Sitter, Duro-Last Marketing Director. “The online version uses some pretty cool technology to provide users with a comprehensive, accessible, and highly-interactive reference manual.”

EXCEPTIONAL Metals manufactures high-quality metal products designed for use with single-ply roofing systems. Products include roof accessories, metal edge details, drainage systems, scuppers, collector boxes, pitch pans, vinyl-coated metal products, and custom-fabricated products. Duro-Last installations that are completed using EXCEPTIONAL Metals perimeter details are protected by a comprehensive edge-to-edge warranty that guarantees the watertight integrity of the roof.

With corporate headquarters and a manufacturing facility in Saginaw, Michigan as well as other manufacturing facilities in Grants Pass, Oregon; Jackson, Mississippi; and Sigourney, Iowa, the Duro-Last roofing system has become known as the “World’s Best Roof®”. Since 1978, Duro-Last Roofing, Inc. has manufactured a custom-fabricated, reinforced, thermoplastic membrane roofingsystem that is ideal for any flat or low-sloped commercial and industrial building. Energy-efficient and extremely durable, the Duro-Last roofing system is also leak-proof, virtually maintenance-free and resistant to chemicals, fire, and high winds. For more information, contact Fred Sitter at 800-248-0280 or visit www.duro-last.com

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2009 International Codes are now available for pre-subscription at MADCAD eLibrary

2009 International Codes are now available for pre-subscription at MADCAD eLibrary, the most advanced research platform for building codes and standards.

Important code changes have been made in the 2009 I-Codes, which will be available for online access in June 2009. Pre-subscribe now and save 10% on the 2009 I-Codes.

Used by top design firms such as HDR, HOK, and Gensler, MADCAD eLibrary offers a unique search technology, allowing users to simultaneously search across more than 7,000 codes and standards from ASHRAE, ASTM, ICC and NFPA.

Try MADCAD's unique search by clicking fire extinguisher, smoke partition or delayed egress.

Please visit MADCAD Subscription Store to review pricing for the 2009 I-Codes and to take advantage of the 10% pre-subscription discount.

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Petersen Introduces Solar Series Roof System

PAC Solar Series 

Petersen Aluminum has introduced the PAC Solar Series, which integrates cutting-edge photovoltaic technology with the durability of a standing seam roof system. Thin-film solar laminate is fused to the surface of the metal panel substrate to create a green solution for energy generation. Unlike polycrystalline photocells that are heavy and fragile, no roof penetration or structural support is required with the flexible and durable PAC Solar Series. The Solar Series includes a complete, standardized system with schematics and specifications for all electrical components.

Provided through the EnergyPeak™ Program, PAC Solar Series is available on these Petersen profiles: Snap-Clad, Redi-Roof, Tite-Loc, Tite-Loc HS and Tite-Loc Plus. Solar Series roofs provide payback in 10 years or less and offer a 20-year warranty.

For more information on the PAC Solar Series and the complete line of Petersen metal roofing products, call 800-PAC-CLAD or visit www.pac-clad.com.

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Duro-Last® Roofing, Inc. Announces 2008 Employees Of The Year

Duro-Last Roofing, Inc. recently announced Warren E. Catiore and Isaiah Tatum as the 2008 Employees of the Year.

Warren CatioreWarren Catiore is the Technical Sales Coordinator based out of the Grants Pass, Oregon facility. Catiore was chosen as the September Employee of the Month, which made him eligible for Employee of the Year. Warren has been with Duro-Last for over 12 years and in his current position for the last 10, where he is responsible for in-house contractor training.

Tim Hart, Duro-Last Vice President of West Coast Operations, said, “Warren’s outstanding work ethic and commitment to excellence has been acknowledged by our customers, sales representatives, and his co workers. His excellent people skills have increased sales and helped to develop long-term relationships. This is one way of showing Warren our appreciation for his hard work and loyalty to Duro-Last.”

Isaiah TatumIsaiah Tatum is the Warranty Services Crew Leader based out of the Jackson, Mississippi facility. Chosen as the Employee of the Month for March, Isaiah is responsible for maintaining the safety of the crew while making warranty-related repairs to the Duro-Last roofing system.

“Isaiah has been on the warranty crew for over seven years and brings a great deal of experience with him”, said Charles Smith, Duro-Last Quality Assurance Regional Manager. “He displays teamwork that we value in all of our employees, and has shown his talents as a leader. We are honored to have him work with us.”

Employees of the Year are chosen from all of the Employees of the Month for every Duro-Last facility for that year. Two employees are then selected and are able to attend Duro-Last’s National Sales Seminar held in late January of each year. This year’s National Sales Seminar is being held in Dayton Beach, Florida, January 25 – 27, 2009.

With corporate headquarters and a manufacturing facility in Saginaw, Michigan as well as other manufacturing facilities in Grants Pass, Oregon; Jackson, Mississippi; and Sigourney, Iowa, the Duro-Last roofing system has become known as the “World’s Best Roof®”. Since 1978, Duro-Last Roofing, Inc. has manufactured a custom-fabricated, reinforced, thermoplastic single-ply roofingsystem that is ideal for any flat or low-sloped commercial and industrial building. Energy-efficient and extremely durable, the Duro-Last roofing system is also leak-proof, virtually maintenance-free and resistant to chemicals, fire, and high winds. For more information, contact Fred Sitter at 800-248-0280 or visit www.duro-last.com.

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Tilt-Up Concrete Association Announces Call for Presentations for 2009 Convention

The Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA) – a non-profit international organization that serves to expand and improve the use of site-cast Tilt-Up as the preferred construction method – has announced a Call for Presentations for the 2009 Tilt-Up Convention, to be held Sept. 30 – Oct. 2 in Amelia Island, Fla.

With the theme “Experienced Sustainability Strengthened Through Innovation,” the Association is inviting industry experts to submit abstracts of approximately 100 words as well as a bullet listing of main objectives, a speaker biography as well as Tilt-Up and speaking experience to the TCA for consideration. The abstracts will be reviewed by the TCA Education Committee and selected presentations will be notified and scheduled. Topic ideas include detailed building cost comparisons, time-savings analysis, life-cycle costing, scheduling, engineering efficiency, selling to educational boards, case studies, design options and more. Presentations should be 45-60 minutes in length. Those selected to be a speaker will receive a $500 honorarium and free registration to the Convention, a $795 value. Submissions should be sent via email to James Baty, TCA Technical Director, jbaty@tilt-up.org.

The three-day Tilt-Up Convention will feature intensive training and education seminars for contractors and engineers, architects and marketing personnel in concurrent sessions. The event will feature an indoor exposition. Construction personnel, marketing professionals, engineers, architects and owners are all invited and encouraged to attend in order to maximize the benefit to each company. The Convention also serves as another venue for the Tilt-Up Supervisor’s Certification exam – a joint program of the TCA and the American Concrete Institute. The examination consists of a closed-book, two-hour written test with 80 multiple-choice questions. For more information about the exam, please contact TCA at 319-895-6911.

Additional information and registration details are available by visiting www.tilt-up.org and selecting the TCA Convention from the Calendar of Events menu.

TCA was founded in 1986 to improve the quality and acceptance of site cast Tilt-Up construction, a construction method in which concrete wall panels are cast on-site and tilted into place. Tilt-Up construction is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, combining the advantages of reasonable cost with low maintenance, durability, speed of construction and minimal capital investment. For more information about the TCA, visit www.tilt-up.org or call Ed Sauter at 319-895-6911 or e-mail esauter@tilt-up.org.

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AIA Selects 10 Communities for Community Assistance Program to Promate Long-Term Sustainability

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Center for Communities by Design has selected Los Angeles, Cleveland, Indianapolis, SE Tennessee Valley, Tenn., Virginia Beach, Va., Orange, Mass., Port Angeles, Wash., Hilo, Hawaii, Beatrice, Neb. and Eagle River Valley, Colo. as ten communities to receive technical assistance under the Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) program in 2009. The collaborative SDAT brings together architects and other professionals assembled from across the country to provide a roadmap for communities seeking to improve their sustainability – as defined by a community’s ability to meet the environmental, economic, and social equity needs of today without reducing the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

“In its fourth year, the SDAT program continues to evolve by offering detailed solutions for neighborhood revitalization, transportation infrastructure challenges and a host of economic and environmental issues facing communities all over the country,” said Joel Mills, director of the AIA Center for Communities by Design. “The volunteer architects and other team members are able to provide invaluable consulting services on how to better utilize local assets, ideas for how to transform blighted areas and ways to make these communities more pedestrian friendly.”

An architect-led team of professionals including planners, hydrologists, economic development specialists, and others will be selected based on their credentials and the specific needs of each community. The SDAT will work in conjunction with local stakeholders to help shape the community’s strategy to increase sustainability. To provide the most objective assessment, team members volunteer their time and expertise and are selected from areas outside the project communities.

Scope of issues examined in each community:

Los Angeles: Air quality, public services, revitalization and accessibility
Cleveland: Brownfield redevelopment, urban agriculture and expanding walkability
Indianapolis: Transit-oriented development, neighborhood redevelopment and housing
Chattanooga, TN: Water conservation, mass transit options and recycling solutions
Virginia Beach, VA: Renewable energy and green economic development strategy
Orange, MA: Historic preservation, building rehabilitation and transportation solutions
Port Angeles, WA: Design incentive program and vacant structure redevelopment
Hilo, HI: Economic development, smart growth and promote community assets
Beatrice, NE: Urban revitalization and connect downtown with physical assets
Eagle River Valley, CO: Define and create large-scale vision of sustainability

SDAT program elements
The communities were selected after submitting an application to the 2009 SDAT review panel outlining the economic, environmental, and social equity challenges facing their region. The SDAT community assistance program provides the selected communities with these components:

  • Preliminary/scoping visit
  • Three-day visit from a multidisciplinary team
  • A report highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the community with regards to sustainability, along with the opportunities and obstacles to change
  • Consultations after the three-day visit (typically by phone or email)

To learn more about the AIA Center for Communities by Design or the SDAT program visit: http://www.aia.org/liv_sdat

About the AIA Center for Communities by Design
The Center for Communities by Design is the clearinghouse for the American Institute of Architects' many activities—from promoting sustainable design to leading design based technical assistance projects in communities—that influence the quality of life in our nation's communities. The center is a nonpartisan forum that provides information, develops policy, creates partnerships, and assists in advocacy efforts to facilitate discussions of community design and inform choices for neighborhoods, cities, regions, and the nation.

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of The American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. AIA members have access to the right people, knowledge, and tools to create better design, and through such resources and access, they help clients and communities make their visions real. www.aia.org

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Architecture Billings Index Remains at Historically Low Levels
Commercial sector continues to be hardest hit by economic downturn

Following consecutive months with record low scores, with the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) moved up only very modestly, signifying that the design industry remains mired in a steep downturn. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the December ABI rating was 36.4, up from the 34.7 mark in November (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The inquiries for new projects score was 37.7.

“The inability to get financing for construction projects is a key reason that business conditions continue to be so poor at design firms,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “It will be important to see what the proposed economic stimulus package includes that is geared towards the construction industry, and how quickly developers who have had to put projects on hold can get them moving again.”

Key December ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: West (36.8), South (35.5), Midwest (35.5), Northeast (34.4)
  • Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (45.1), institutional (39.3), multi-family residential (30.0), commercial / industrial (28.1)
  • Project inquiries index: 37.7

About the AIA Architecture Billings Index
The Architecture Billings Index is derived from a monthly “Work-on-the-Boards” survey and produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group. Based on a comparison of data compiled since the survey’s inception in 1995 with figures from the Department of Commerce on Construction Put in Place, the findings amount to a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction activity. The diffusion indexes contained in the full report are derived from a monthly survey sent to a panel of AIA member-owned firms. Participants are asked whether their billings increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the month that just ended. According to the proportion of respondents choosing each option, a score is generated, which represents an index value for each month.

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit www.aia.org/walkthewalk

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AIA Develops Plan to Stimulate Economy and Create 1.6 Million Jobs in Building Sector
Recommendations Call for Funds for the Planning and Design of Energy Efficient Construction Projects

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast projects an 11 percent decline in design and construction activity in 2009. To revitalize the building sector, which accounts for about one in every ten dollars of the United States GDP, the AIA developed the Rebuild and Renew Plan, which details its recommendations for the allocation of funds in President-elect Obama’s economic recovery plan. The AIA is calling on the new administration and Congress to create policies that ensure these monies are spent on the planning, design and construction of energy efficient, sustainable buildings and healthy communities that are advantageous for both the environment and economy. If implemented correctly, the nearly $100 billion plan would create 1.6 million jobs throughout the design and construction industry.

Recent reports estimate that the economic recovery package may total as much as $800 billion, with at least $350 billion dedicated to infrastructure projects. However, the AIA’s recommendations call for longer planning and design periods for projects to help ensure that they are carried out in the most effective, cost-efficient manner and that funds are not poorly spent due to the projects being hastily planned and executed. Providing funding for projects across 24 months will ensure a steady stream of funds for job creation over the likely life of the recession.

“President-elect Obama’s economic recovery package provides us with the opportunity to leave a lasting imprint on our built environment with projects that improve the safety of the existing infrastructure and increase energy efficiency, so long as these projects are undertaken with the utmost attention to smart design and planning,” said Christine McEntee, Executive Vice President and CEO of the AIA. “The Rebuild and Renew plan has garnered significant interest from the transition team and key Congressional leaders, and outlines initiatives to build better, safer and healthier communities while creating jobs and stimulating economic growth nationwide that can lead to long-term economic vitality.”

The plan is comprised of five key policy areas for immediate attention: 21st century schools; green commercial, residential and institutional buildings; historic preservation projects; transit, mixed use development and complete streets projects; and tax relief for businesses. Highlights from the plan include:

21st Century Schools – As the costs of energy and construction materials continue to increase and budgets get tighter, education agencies are further delaying or canceling major projects to repair and modernize school buildings. The AIA is calling for the federal government to invest $25 billion in districts across the country to repair, modernize and green school buildings. Additionally, it is proposing $700 million for pilot programs that would provide grants for the development of model school campuses that support 21st century teaching and learning in the each region of the country. This proposal would create more than 445,000 jobs across the industry.

Green Buildings - The current economic crisis presents an opportunity to build better public, residential and commercial architectural designs. This requires investing in the types of full-scale retrofits that can significantly reduce a building’s carbon footprint. The AIA is calling for the federal government to provide $30 billion for energy efficiency upgrades and modernization for federal, state and local public buildings; residential, commercial, industrial and healthcare facilities; and green affordable housing. Appropriating these funds would result in the creation of 430,000 jobs. In addition, the AIA is calling for increasing the size of the energy efficient commercial buildings tax deduction from $1.80 per square foot to $3.00 per square foot and this recommendation was just endorsed by the Environment America Research & Policy Center.

Transit and Livable Communities - A lack of investment in our infrastructure system since the New Deal has limited economic growth and jeopardized the safety of American citizens. As Congress prepares to create legislation that stimulates the economy the AIA believes that it is important to invest at least $12 billion for transit facilities and operations, since they greatly enhance the economic development, sustainability, safety and livability of communities. Funding for transit-oriented projects will create compact, walkable communities that mix housing, retail, office space and other amenities around high quality train systems and create approximately 375,000 jobs for the building and construction industry.

Historic Preservation Projects – The preservation of historic buildings already in the development phase will create more work for the building industry and generate positive economic returns in the communities surrounding them. The plan calls for the appropriation of at least at least $30 million to the under-funded Save America’s Treasure program for bricks-and-mortar preservation projects. The plan also calls for another $100 million in grants to be provided through the State Historic Preservation Officers and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers for non-federal public and nonprofit historic sites.

Tax Relief for Businesses – By accelerating the depreciation of energy-efficient heating, ventilation, air conditioning, or commercial refrigeration property installed in nonresidential property or residential rental property, businesses of all sizes would be able to improve their operations, reduce costs and reduce energy consumption. The AIA is also calling for elimination of a requirement that businesses that perform government work have three percent of their payments withheld.

For more information on the AIA’s Rebuild and Renew plan, or to download the full report, please visit http://www.aia.org/rebuildandrenew.

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit www.aia.org/walkthewalk.

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Steep Decline Predicted for Nonresidential Construction Activity in 2009
Commercial sector to be hardest hit; lower building materials costs

As the overall U.S. economy continues to struggle, nonresidential construction spending is expected to decrease by 11 percent in 2009 in inflation adjusted terms. Commercial projects including office buildings and retail establishments will see the most significant decrease in activity. On the positive side, prices have dropped for key construction commodities. These are highlights from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast, a survey of the nation’s leading construction forecasters.

“As profits for businesses have fallen and the ability to get credit to finance projects has become far more difficult, construction plans have been put on hold or canceled outright in recent months,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “This is not expected to turn around anytime soon and it’s likely to get worse before it gets better.”

Click here for full report: http://www.aia.org/aiarchitect/thisweek09/0116/0116n_consensus.cfm

Market Segment Consensus Growth Forecasts    
Commercial/Industrial 2009 2010
 Hotels  20.2% 12.2%
 Retail 19.2% 6.6%
 Office Buildings 17.5% 11.1%
 Industrial Facilities 11.2% 8.4%
     
 Institutional    
 Religious 9.4% 1.4%
 Education 7.4% 1.9%
 Amusement/Recreation 5.9% 1.0%
 Health Care Facilities 3.6% 1.9%
 Public Safety 3.5% 1.9%

“The downturn in nonresidential activity has helped stabilize construction costs,” Baker added. “For example, prices for steel, gypsum products, lumber and cement have all come down recently which makes taking on projects more attractive to developers.”

About the AIA Consensus Construction Forecast Panel
The AIA Consensus Construction Forecast Panel is conducted twice a year with the leading nonresidential construction forecasters in the United States including, McGraw Hill Construction, Global Insight, Moody’s economy.com, Reed Business Information, and FMI. The purpose of the Consensus Construction Forecast Panel is to project business condition in the construction industry over the coming 12 to 18 months. The Consensus Construction Forecast Panel has been conducted for 11 years.

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit www.aia.org/walkthewalk.

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